Price paid: € 500
Features: This guitar was made in Korea in 2010. The instrument has 22 jumbo frets and a 638mm scale. It has a pretty fat maple set neck with a rosewood fingerboard that feels great. The woods used for the Strat type body are basswood and maple for the carved top. I am not sure about the finish but I think it's satin. The Bridge is a Tuno-O-Matic bridge. The Bridge pickup is a high-output humbucker, that sounds very good in a high gain setting. The neck pickup is a P-90 that sounds really good clean or overdriven. There is no tone control but the guitar does have a volume control, a 3-way selector and a little Switch to split the humbucker or to go from high/low output on the P-90. Because of this Switch and the interesting combination of pickups this guitar is very versatile and it can be used for allmost any genre. The only thing I miss sometimes is the tone control, but apart from that I couldn't wish for anything more. // 9
Sound: I play this guitar through my Peavey Classic 30 tweed without any pedals. I play mainly alternative rock and sometimes a little metal. The P-90 sounds really, really good for the rock stuff. I like to use the low-output setting and roll off the volume about halfway, so I can turn my gain up without getting too much distortion and the guitar will sound very bright and very close to the strat-neck sound. If you use the high output setting on the neck pickup with the volume all the way up and the tone (on the amp) turned down a little you can get a very smooth jazz sound out of the P-90.
The Bridge pickup is really good for metal or heavy rock, it is a very high output pickup and it sounds very defined with high gain. This pickup does not sound very good when used clean though, it sounds too harsh and bright and it seems to have been made for metal. When you use the coilsplitter and take out some mids and a little highs the sound does get a nicer (clean), however it does not sound as good as the neck pickup. It seems the neck pickup was intended to plean clean or slighty distorted and the Bridge pickup is there to shred.
In the middle position with the coilsplitter on single coil mode, this guitar sounds "huge" and jangly, which makes this a nice setting to strum some chords. All in all I'm happy with the sound but I wish the Bridge pickup would sound better clean, the cleans of the neck pickup more than make up for this though. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The action and neck were greatly setup when I bought the guitar. The pickup height was good too, however the intonation was not perfect. I went back to the shop and they fixed the problem for me. There are no other flaws on this guitar, the "natural" look, looks great and there are no flaws in the finish, loose controls or any other problems whatsoever. However because I had to go back to the shop to get the intonation fixed I will give it only an 8. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I have played this guitar a few times live and it's build to last. It is very light and very solid. I have dropped it two or three times, but it did not damage the guitar at all. The tuners combined with the TOM Bridge make it stay in tune forever. The strap buttons are very nice, they are almost too big to fit through the holes of your strap so you definitely won't need strap locks. I would use this without a back up, but I have a back up guitar so there is no point in not bringing that along to a gig. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall I am very happy with this guitar, it's very reliable and versatile, yet it looks understated, simple and beautiful. The features on this thing are not very easy to come by in this price range. When other guitarists hear and see my guitar they almost always ask me what kind of guitar it is and how much I paid for it. Most of them are shocked when they hear it cost only 500 Euros. If this guitar were stolen I would definitely steal it back. I wouldn't even think of losing it, ever. // 9